Progress report for November

Anita Kundu is talking about growing Beans, Beetroot, Cabbage, Capsicum, Chilli, Cucumber, Eggplant, Kohl Rabi, Silverbeet, Spinach, Squash, Tomato, Zucchini, Something else from Auckland

Garden ready!

To help organise myself in the garden, I keep a monthly task list which I write on a large sheet of paper pinned to my notice board.  I also write daily tasks in a notebook which I keep in the garage, so it’s easily accessible while I’m in the garden.  It’s so satisfying to be able to cross things off the list.  Funnily, I often end up getting side-tracked and doing things which I haven’t written down.  Does anyone else have this habit, too?  Sometimes things catch my eye as I walk around the garden and these tasks are more urgent, such as reviving an unhealthy plant or providing support to one which is leaning over.  Even with these diversions, I’ve been powering through my tasks.  As I plant out seedlings, stock in the nursery is gradually diminishing.  I feel in control of the garden, despite experiencing some set backs along the way, which I have described in my previous two posts.  The biggest loss was the wwoofers (which I covered a bit before that) – so I thought.  It’s early days without them, but I’ve actually found that I’m less stressed, have more freedom and flexibility and even have more time on my hands!  Sometimes it’s easier to just get on with it yourself without the hassle of delegating to others and having to supervise them.

Recap of main activities in the past week

  •          Harvested the rest of the cabbages (I gave a box of 15 to gym staff at Les Mills Howick, as mentioned in a previous post) and cleared the beetroot which failed to bulb up
  •          Lifted a row of Agria potatoes. Prepared the soil with compost, Nitrophoska fertiliser and potato food.  Replanted more Agria seed potatoes
  •          Prepared the area where I intend to grow squash (between the Agria and Liseta potatoes).  Worked compost and Nitrophoska fertiliser into the soil and laid down some old black plastic I had previously used for planting melons.  It was quite spooky.   The dimensions of the plastic were exactly right for the area and the holes were in exactly the right places, including spaces to accommodate some self-seeded flowers – a sunflower, some borage and wildflowers – in the middle of the patch.  Initially, I thought it would take me a long time to do this, but it took literally a few minutes because it was already mapped out correctly.  I couldn’t have crafted it better myself!
  •          Planted kohrlrabi, spinach and silverbeet over the weekend

Next steps

  •          Dig over area which previously housed the cabbages and beetroot.  Work in lots of compost and Nitrophoska fertiliser.  Lay down black plastic in preparation for planting the melons later this month, when it’s a bit warmer (I don’t normally plant them earlier than mid-November)
  •          Lift Heather potatoes which were planted on 20th August (harvest between the 10th and 20th of the month, as Morton Smith-Dawe suggest they take 80-90 days to mature).  Prepare soil with compost, Nitrophoska fertiliser and potato food.  Plant another row of Agria potatoes.
  •          Plant remaining four trays of silverbeet and spinach (Carol, you’re allowed to laugh at me, I sometimes wish I only had six seedlings as it’s taking me FOREVER!)
  •          Sow more sunflowers (direct, outdoors), cucumber and zucchini (indoors on the heat pad)
  •          Harden off eggplants and melons which are currently in the greenhouse
  •          Plant more tomatoes, capsicums and chillies in the garden
  •          Check whether beans have germinated (sown direct on 27th October).  If not, plant seedlings raised on the heat pad (which haven’t germinated yet).  If these fail, sow more seeds on the heat pad.  There’s still plenty of time for growing beans, so don’t worry if yours are a bit behind like mine!

Later this month

  •          Sow  basil and zinnias (direct, outdoors)
  •          Sow okra (indoors on heat pad)
  •          Plant melons and eggplants outdoors

What tasks are outstanding in your garden?

NB the picture is of the poppy “Fire Circle” (ex Koanga).  The seeds were originally given to me by my gardening friend Catherine Orr, but the poppy self-seeds freely every year.